Archive for July, 2013

Never Forsaken – but Always Loved

Monday, July 29th, 2013

For He Himself has said,

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

So we may boldly say:

“The Lord is my helper; I will not fear…”

Hebrews 13:5-6 NKJ

If we judge by the wrong standard, we arrive at a false conclusionSometimes Believers judge their lives – and even their Savior – by their circumstances.  When times are tough, it’s tempting (and all too easy) to interpret our circumstances to mean things like, “God’s displeased with me… I’ve disappointed Him… God’s punishing me… He doesn’t love me as much as others whose circumstances look easier than mine… maybe God isn’t so good after all.”    

And yet in truth, our tough times do not equate into God’s disapproval.  They may simply mean that God trusts us enough to entrust us with a trial that will help build our faith, deepen our devotion, and prepare us for greater impact for Jesus. 

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us — they help us learn to endure. 

And endurance develops strength of character in us…

Romans 5:3-4  NLT

Jesus told us that the hardest times we’ll ever see can be occasions for great rejoicing.  Betrayal, hatred, rejection – these are some of the deepest hurts a human heart can know.  And yet Jesus said that for His disciples, such troubled waters are actually reason for great joy:

“Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.  Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven.  For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.”

Luke 6:22-23 NIV

Even in times of correction, the Lord’s hand of discipline is anything but a sign of divine displeasure in the life of His child – quite the opposite, in fact:

My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,

Nor detest His correction;

For whom the Lord loves He corrects,

Just as a father the son in whom he delights.

Proverbs 3:11-12 NKJ

He loves you, He’s committed to you, and He’s never going to fail or forsake you.  His love for you is unfailing… Everything and everyone else may fail you, but His love never will. 

This week, let’s start by judging our circumstances in the light of our Father’s unfailing love.  We have every reason to trust, to be confident, and to smile at the future.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

All the days of my life;

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalm 23:6 NKJ

Resting in His unfailing love,

Pastor Matthew Casey

© Springs of Life Ministries, 2013

 

Deep Waters, Deep Work

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Deep calls to deep in the roar of Your waterfalls;

All Your waves and breakers have swept over me.

Psalm 42:7 NIV

Many times those things which appear to be against us are actually tremendous opportunities to deeper friendship and more constant communion with Jesus.  Those mighty waves of trial and trouble remind us of our inability, weakness, and need – through which we will, as we yield to His grace, find and enjoy God’s supply and might more powerfully than if we’d had no storm, no “deep place” through which to travel.    

 We all love “mountaintop experiences,” times when the sun is shining, provision is plenty, and all seems well ~ praise God for such seasons!  But it’s helpful to remember that the deep places are also from God – including the deep places of trial or sorrow.  

 

In His hand are the deep places of the earth;

The heights of the hills are His also.

Psalm 95:4

 

God does a depth of work in and through the deep valleys of our lives that cannot take place in uninterrupted ease and earthly comfort.  It’s there that we experience His nearness like never before, that we learn to move mountains through prayer, and that we hear His Spirit speak to us in ways that are so easy to miss amid the din and clamor of “normal life” in our busy world.  As C.H. Spurgeon put it,

“In the deserts of affliction the presence of the Lord becomes everything to us.”

There is a depth of work in the human heart that human hands simply cannot touch – no amount of introspection, effort, or good intentions can do what we need done.  It is a deep work, touching things which only the Spirit of God can.  Our part is to cooperate with His Spirit by coming unto Him – through time in His Word, in prayer, in worship, and in silent waiting at His feet.  We come to be with Him, trusting that He will keep the promise of His Word:

 

He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion

 until the day of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:6 NIV

 

For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey Him

and the power to do what pleases Him.

Philippians 2:13 NLT

May we find fresh grace to “let God be God,” and trust Him to do that work in us which only He can.  Let us cast our heavy burdens, unanswered questions, and every worry about the future at His feet.  May we choose to trust Him in the midst of the storm, even as the “waves and breakers” are sweeping over our lives.  Our Father knows, sees, and cares; we’ll see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living once again. 

 

Much love to you in our Messiah,

Pastor Matthew Casey

© Springs of Life Ministries, 2013

A Cry for Revival

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Ask the Lord for rain

In the time of the latter rain…

He will give them showers of rain,

Grass in the field for everyone.

Zechariah 10:1 NKJ

 

O Lord, how we need a fresh move of Your Spirit!  In our churches, in our nation, in our hearts! 

Come, Holy Spirit – refresh us again, washing away the lies and weariness of this world, and reviving our first love for Jesus.

Lord, we need You like never before… 

In this time of our deep need,

Begin again to help us,

As You did in years gone by.

Habakkuk 3:2 NLT

 

Soften our hearts with the oil of Your Spirit…    

     Breathe fresh life on the embers of our faith…

          Cause us to believe You for miracles again…

                And reignite in us a passion for Your glory…

  

Let us see Your miracles again;

Let our children see Your glory at work.

Psalm 90:16 NLT

 

Dear Lord, “church as usual” won’t do it anymore!  We see the flood of deception sweeping our land, the generation of young people being raised without a moral compass, evil becoming the new “normal” – and the American church rendered powerless to turn the tide of the battle! 

We need a mighty move of YOU, O Most High!  A season of miracles!  A hell-shaking, pride-breaking, heart-rending outpouring of Your Spirit’s fire!

 

Let Your work appear to Your servants,

And Your glory to their children.

And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,

And establish the work of our hands for us;

Yes, establish the work of our hands.

Psalm 90:16-17 NKJ   

Have mercy on us, O Lord…  We confess that “we and our fathers” have sinned against You (Jeremiah 3:25), and we stand in need of your forgiveness, mercy, and unfailing love. 

We cast no stones, and we point no fingers…

     We simply cry out for Your help…   

           O God, renew Your work in us once again…

                   Begin a revival, and begin with us, O Lord

In the Name of Your precious Son, who shed His sinless blood to wash away our sins and make us Your own, do we pray; Amen. 

Pastor Matthew Casey

© Springs of Life Ministries, 2013